Friday, December 4, 2009

I've Lost, but Look What I've Gained! Part II

[This is the second part of a series on weight-loss]

When last I left you I had reconnected with my childhood sweetheart and after spending a fun-filled week in Vegas with him, we decided to try to make a relationship happen.  And happen it did!  I was still living in DC and he was living in sunny northern California.  He is a government wank with a pension to beat most and wasn't about to relocate under any circumstances.  I worked for a global company, who's headquarters just happened to sit in the Bay area with satellite offices in the same town as my sweetheart(by the way, he is now my husband and that is another sordid tale I will tell in its entirety in a future post or two).  So after our week in Vegas, we returned to our respective corners of the continent and tried to figure it all out.  Then I got a promotion, almost randomly, that required that I move to California.

In the mean time, I began to struggle up and down with the weight again.  The job change and the move across country brought new stressors to my life.  The changes were positive, but they were still changes.  My eating was good then bad then good again and continued in this vicious cycle.  Exercise was spotty at best.  Six months later I had regained the 30 lbs.  Luckily, my size did not change how my future hubby felt about me.  After the move, I continued to struggle with eating and exercising.  Sometimes, I would be completely diligent and committed.  Other times I ate and sat on my butt with wild abandon.  Stress was still high; the new job began to crush me with tasks about a year after I accepted it.  The company was struggling financially (most were at the time) and even though I wasn't at risk for a layoff, I was required to pick up additional duties as the company "downsized".

I began to struggle not only with my weight but my mental health as well.  I began taking Paxil and Ambien to deal with the stress--two drugs that have potential weight gain as side effects.   It seems that medical professionals might think twice about that when they hand them over to obese patients, but you and I know otherwise.  I also began to take blood pressure medication and it should be noted that I had been using an inhaler for exercise-induced asthma for several years.

My mother bought me a lifetime gym membership for Christmas, and I was thrilled to have it!  I began earnestly exercising and following the diet plan laid out by a professional trainer.  I began to lose weight very slowly.   The job stress escalated to the point that I knew my health was in jeopardy because of it.  So I quit the job.  I whole-heartedly believed in my ability to get another job right away, so I did not line up a second job beforehand.  It took nine months to find another job.

In the mean time, depression and stress from not having a job replaced the job stress.  But, while I was twiddling my thumbs in between job applications and interviews, I began to research weight-loss options in earnest.  Back in the nineties, I barely missed being part of the Phen-fen tragedies--thankfully.  Soon after that, I heard about new procedures for weight-loss surgery.  I remembered back in the seventies, stomach stapling was popular for a while but then it seemed to die out.  I started reading articles and watching news stories and documentaries on the new bariatric procedures.

I wondered if I would have the courage to actually have that type of surgery.  At the time, I wasn't ready to throw in the towel on conventional weight-loss, but I kept the idea in my head and learned as much as I could.  Being a biologist and having worked in the medical field, I knew where to find unbiased information and studies.  I actively learned as much as I could about bariatric surgery until I started the new job.  I was not quite ready, however, to actually have the surgery. 

to be continued...


  1. Looks like when you have tried so much with everything else, that surgery makes the most sense.

    Looking forward to your next post.

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